I’ve taken a long break from blogging. During the 2010 Democratic Primary Elections I worked on two campaigns and so I decided not publish my personal take on politics for the sake of my candidates.
Now that the election is over, I would like to get back to blogging regularly.
If there’s one major observation I took away from from this election, it’s that voter apathy has an ironic way of self-defeat.
For instance, we commonly heard throughout the course of this election how fed up people were with politics in Illinois and our political leadership. This led to cynicism about the system in general and a feeling that all politicians are corruptible and on the take.
The irony is of course that this attitude leads people to refrain from voting and therefore gives the Democratic Machine a free pass to win elections.
Off the top of my head, look at all the good government, reform candidates who lost in 2010 primaries:
- David Hoffman lost to Alexi Giannoulias
- Jonathan Goldman lost Anazette Collins
- Rudy Lozano Jr. lost to Dan Burke
- Stella Black and Todd Connor lost to three Machine-backed candidates for Water Rec
- Monica Torres-Linares lost to Jerry “Iceman” Butler
- David Schroeder lost to Ken Dunkin
And the list goes on…
The point here is that voters who want good government, who want reform, who want honest people in elected office – only hurt themselves when they stay away from the voting booth.
We had a historic low turnout this election. All that does is ensure the majority of those who show up are Machine supporters.
Good candidates can’t get elected when turnout is so low.
This is a fallacy in Chicagoland’s political culture that has to be changed. We face huge problems – mounting debt, failing public transportation, failing schools, corruption, etc. Change won’t happen when we throw our hands up and allow those who seek to protect the political status quo to walk away with elections.
It won’t take much on our end – just a commitment to learn about candidates and to cast our votes.